To Promote Antibiotic Stewardship – how about a glimpse of my daughters’ antibiotic use?

Another pharmacist wrote this, but I concur. My sons were prescribed a few more antibiotics than her children, but frankly not many. Many infections are viral, and don’t require antibiotics (and if prescribed, increase the chance for antibiotics resistance, that is being ineffective). Thanks drugopinions for this insightful blog.

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I realize there is so much talk and education on how we should prescribe antibiotic more appropriately. A discussion on antibiotic stewardship may sound very sexy but the public may not be able to connect to such term. In essence, antibiotic stewardship is an initiative to promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing, to improve patient outcomes and to reduce antibiotic resistance. Maybe making it personal will help – and I mean let’s look at my daughters’ antibiotic use.

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Just don’t think

I didn’t write this, but it is well worth reading for its message. Thanks Jane for writing it.

Box o' Ducks

Many years ago a friend and I met another friend for lunch. He’d retired early to care for his wife, who’d been stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. A home health-care aide visited a few hours a week to stay with her, so he could buy groceries, pick up medicine, or get a haircut. On this day, he chose to use this valuable time to meet us at a restaurant.

They had several children, who never visited. They couldn’t bear seeing the woman who was no longer their mother, he said. He forgave them, but there was an edge of bitterness in his voice.

He knew something was wrong when he found a gallon of milk beneath the sink. The disease progressed quickly, and in a few short months the mother of his six children babbled incoherently, and was constantly in motion – pacing, trying to unlock the door, apparently unaware of…

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The journey of a thousand miles…June

…starts with a single step, and this pedometer geek is working towards goal of walking a thousand miles this year (thanks to the challenge by my friend Cally C of Great Britain). Although this pedometer geek has a daily goal of 10,000 steps (and frequently misses the mark), never has the mileage been tracked to this degree. During the month of June, the journey was reduced by 93.92 miles leaving about 440 miles to go.

June’s number of steps were similar to May’s steps. With one less day in the month, this pedometer geek put 250,879 steps on the pedometer. Of these, 77,184 were aerobic steps obtained over all but three days, and there were only eleven days when the goal of 10,000 or more steps was met.

With the advent of July, the Million Mile Month has presented another challenge: a Triathlon in a Month, with the “sports” determined by the individual. Like April’s challenge, the goal is fluid in that the participant can choose any number of miles and can join in even now. This pedometer geek has chosen a hundred miles as the goal, and so far, has been both walking and bicycling toward the goal. In fact, as of this post, over a quarter of the goal has been met.

Switching to the other topic of interest to this poster are the reading goals. Two goals through http://www.bookcrossing.com were continued. As the quarter ended, the first of two goals (the SIY challenge), ended with this reader falling short of completing the quarter’s  books. Of the twelve books chosen, all were but two were completed. Despite falling short of completion, this reader has decided to give the challenge another go in the present quarter. Including the two uncompleted books, fifteen books were chosen for the quarter ending at the end of September.

On the other hand, in the pages-read challenge, this reader read another 3,655 pages bringing the yearly total to 24,474 pages of the 40,000 pages (approximately 61% completed) chosen as the goal.

Nine books were read during the month. Most were mainstream novels, but there were also various genres read including a couple books from a series. Four authors were new to this reader, and four of the books were read in an e-book format.

In June, the following books were read and/or completed:

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs *

Queen of the Trailer Park by Alice Quinn

Be Frank with Me by Alice Claiborne Johnson *

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

The Santangelos by Jackie Collins *

Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon *

The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah *

Several of the novels (Family Tree, Be Frank with Me, The Santagelos, and Leaving Lucy Pear) were reviewed on http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com. Briefly, the others are categorized into the various genres. Alice Quinn’s novel is a mystery; Jennifer Estep’s novels are both part of her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series; Porter’s novel is a children’s classic; and Hannah’s novel could be classified as either women’s fiction or mainstream depending. While each could be discussed further, due to lack of time and other pressing concerns, they won’t be; however, consider checking them out as there are some fun as well as thoughtful reads in the bunch.

Until next time, keep reading and keep moving. I know I will be.

And yeah, suggestions always welcomed.

(asterisked books part of the Set-It-Yourself Challenge)

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Annie’s Bicycle

Annie always wanted a red bicycle, that is, once she outgrew her twenty inch sea-foam green one, but back then, there really wasn’t much selection. Girls’ bikes were blue; the boys’ bikes were red with a bar, but first, she had to learn to ride her bike.

Training wheels helped when she began, but soon they were raised, lifted off the ground. For Annie, it only made her feel unbalanced and when she fell, and she fell all too often, it only made it more difficult to get back on her bicycle again. Her younger sister Carrie had a smaller bike, blue and red, but she was struggling, too. Finally, their dad took the training wheels off their bikes, probably deciding it was time they learned to ride.

One early summer evening, Carrie, Annie, and their friend Teri were playing in their front yard when their older sister Kelly said she’d help them learn to ride their bikes. Carrie rolled her bike out from the garage. Straddling the pedals, Carrie extracted a promise from her sister that she’d hold on. The pair began to move; Carrie pedaling and Kelly running beside her and holding on as she told Carrie, “Pedal as fast as you can.”  A few feet beyond, Kelly let go and Carrie was riding on her own. Next came Teri, and the same routine commenced with the same exultation.

Not so, for Annie. Having seen the trick in action twice, she was skeptical and kept falling off before she could get going on her own. Eventually, Kelly gave up as Annie refused to even try.

Soon all of her younger friends in the neighborhood began to ride independently up and down the street and driveways. Everyone but Annie, that is. No matter how many times she was offered help, she knew what would happen, and it did. She started pedaling, the person would let go, and she’d fall. Annie thought she’d never learn to ride her bike.

One hot July afternoon, all of the neighborhood kids were all over at Annie’s house trying to decide what to do. Should they play hide-n-go-seek? Tag? Or something less hot? All the while, Annie kept getting on her bicycle and trying to ride. Over and over again, she’d put her foot on the pedal and push off. Time after time, she’d fail, the bike clattering to the grass.

Fortunately, nobody was paying attention to Annie as she continued to climb on the lower pedal and push off, or so she thought. The more frustrated she got, the more determined she became to do it on her own. Annie kept at until finally she managed to ride. Not very far, not very fast, but she did it!

“Hey, Annie!”  someone yelled, but she didn’t hear who as she ran into the house to tell her mom. She fell into her mom’s arms nearly sobbing.

“Mom, I rode my bike,” Annie said, and her mom said how proud she was of her.

After she calmed down and went outside again, it was like a new day. Annie could hold her head up because finally she could ride a bike like everyone else. What everyone finally decided to do that day, who knows. For Annie, the day was already a success.

******

Over time, Annie outgrew her little bike, but then so did Kelly. At that time, Kelly rode a blue twenty-four inch bike with balloon tires. It was this bike that was given to Annie when her parents bought a brand new larger bicycle for Kelly. Her new one was blue, of course, with sleek, shiny fenders, and thinner tires. It was so pretty compared to Kelly’s castoff, but that was Annie’s new bike as Carrie took over Annie’s hand-me-down.

At first, Annie was disappointed with the oldest of the bikes, but soon she discovered that those fat tires, that everyone seemed to make a joke of, were great when it came to racing. The bike looked slow, but it could move especially when coasting. More than one person was surprised by the bike’s speed, and Annie was almost sorry when the bicycle was replaced a couple years later for a brand new bike similar to the one Kelly had been given. It was perfect, and it was the bike that Annie rode until she went away to college.

After college, Annie decided to purchase another bike. One with gears, a racer, definitely fancier than anything she’d ever had before. But most important, she wanted a bike that was red. By now, bikes came in all colors, not just red and blue. She actually went to a bike shop where she was fitted for a bike. In stock there were many  colors including a deep red; however, there weren’t any red ones in her size. Even now, Annie rides a sleek silver racing bike.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 2017’s Reads of a Pedometer Geek

This pedometer geek hasn’t written much in the past month or so. Well, at least, not here on my blog. I have shared a post or two of others’ writings, but that is about it. I’d like to claim that it is due to the fact that I have really lived up to my pedometer geek status, but unfortunately, that isn’t true. On the other hand, May was an excellent writing month as several of my haiku and/or senryu and  my poems (yeah, I still can’t distinguish the nuances between the two forms.) have been accepted into journals and anthologies. To see three of the haiku/senryu, check out Mike Rehling’s Failed Haiku on WordPress for June. He does an excellent job with his monthly online journal, reading thousands of entries each month, and not just because he included some of mine, but I digress.

My step totals were down a bit from the previous month, and in actuality they were the lowest of 2017. In May this pedometer geek only managed 257,389 steps on the pedometer. Of these, 104,770 steps were aerobic steps (obtained on all but three days), but the goal of 10,000 steps was only managed a third of the time. The goal of a thousand miles throughout the year is now reduced to 532 miles with 86 miles logged throughout the month.

On the other hand, this pedometer geek reader made some progress on the two Bookcrossing challenges in which I am participating. As to the pages-read challenge, which is a yearly challenge, 4,588 pages were read throughout the month bringing the yearly total to 20,819 pages toward the goal of 40,000 pages.

The other Bookcrossing challenge is the quarterly SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge and twelve books were chosen for the challenge. At the beginning of the month, only one of these books had been read. At the end of the month three more of these books were completed. With a month to go on this challenge, it will be a stretch to finish the last eight books chosen; however, it is still possible.

Of the sixteen books read, all but one of them were fiction. Six of the books were part of one series, and two of these were actually novellas. Another novel finished up another series. The nonfiction was a memoir. Various genres were read, and some with a blend of genres. From suspense to romance to YA to urban fantasy as well as mainstream novels, it was a diverse month of reading material. Six of the authors were new to this reader, and nine of the books were read in an e-book format.

In May, the following books were read:

Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Forever in Love by Leeanna Morgan

Rescue by Anita Shreve

Wrath of Magic by Simone Pond

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate   *

The Confession of Stella Moon by Shelley Day

Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard  *

Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

Good Guys Love Dogs by Inglath Cooper

Kiss of Venom by Jennifer Estep

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi  *

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Thread of Death  by Jennifer Estep

While each of these could be discussed, they won’t be. Only the memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, is truly notable for the story of the young neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi, who wrote about his diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer just as he was finishing up his training. Switching from his role as physician to one of patient makes for an incredibly poignant read, and is definitely worth being read by all, but especially by anyone in the medical field; it is highly recommended.

Several of the books,  Wrath of Magic and Beyond the Rising Tide, were extensively reviewed on my review site http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com. Wondering about any of the other books, just ask.

Now, this pedometer geek has a few books to read to finish up the SIY challenge as well as writing some poems, which may be submitted. And, of course, put more steps on the pedometer. So, later…

* The asterisked titles are SIY books

 

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World Hypertension Day – May 17

Sharing this as the information is of value to anyone who battles high blood pressure or wants to avoid having to take medications for it. Thanks drugopinions for posting it in the first place. As a pharmacist myself, I saw way too many people who had to take multiple medications just to control their blood pressure.

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It’s World Hypertension Day.  Last year, I talked about how important it is to know your numbers and what they mean. Check out last year’s post here. This year, I want to highlight few simple things you can do to help reduce blood pressure without medications.  The Mayo Clinic has nicely outlined 10 things you can do.

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I ink, therefore I am: A short story

Mara B., a friend of mine through the now defunct Red Room writers’ site (which I still miss, but I digress), suggested that she’d like to read a short-short of an event described in a poem I penned a couple years ago. That she believed it could be just as, if not more effective, as flash fiction. Frankly, she is the person I consider a master of the genre, describing in exquisite, tight prose a person or event. I finally present it now, with trepidation. I only hope that I have succeeded in my attempt.

 

Waiting in the Auckland airport for our return flight home, I was sitting by myself minding our luggage as Rob was briefly away.

A few seats down sat a dark-haired, twenty-something male sporting a tattoo that completely covered his left bicep. An obviously new tattoo as the ink was black and clearly delineated with a greasy ointment. The fact was he was picking at it as if it were itchy and irritated, too, yet there was a satisfied expression being manifested by his body language.

As a general rule, I am not particularly impressed with tattoos as there is little that I would want engraved upon my person permanently, but I have to admit that this tattoo caught my eye with its Maori-like swirls, yet also reminiscent of a Celtic knot.

To look or not? To speak or not? I chose to look; I chose to speak. “Fresh ink?” I asked, and he nodded, shoving his sleeve of his white t-shirt up to his shoulder, showing it off further.

“It’s the souvenir of my trip,” the dark brown-eyed youth said. The pride in his voice was obvious, and smiling, he allowed me a closer look. I could see that it was not his only inking as there was a small, less visible tattoo on the skin of wrist, but this one was the one upon which I was focused.

“Very cool, truly nice,” I said, and it was true. I could believe it was the souvenir of his trip as this tattoo would have been really expensive. Moreover, it was the kind of tattoo I could understand as I had traveled this land for two weeks. I realized the power of the land of the Maori with their ritual tattooing, each one designed by the village chief to symbolize both paternal and maternal families, their haka, a war-like dance even performed by the national rugby team, the fairness-for-all doctrine that ruled throughout the country, and the pride of every citizen who had even one drop of Maori blood, to change a person. I know the marks are invisible, but I too was ritually tattooed, never to forget this land and its people.

 

 

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